It’s been a busy time lately in Pinklea-land. I just feel like I’m a hamster on a wheel, running and running, and just not getting ahead. And it’s not even Christmas yet!
It’s been mostly work-related stuff. There have been a boat-load of meetings, mostly after school, some with other staff members, some with parents. There have been an unusual number of requests from parents lately, all wanting me to do some additional thing for their child – and I’m genuinely happy to oblige, as they are often asking for me to do things like more in-depth testing that would better pinpoint their child’s areas of strength and weakness, and of course, more information will enable us to all work towards helping the child succeed at school. The problem is that when I do that additional testing, I have to cancel my regular classes. I only have so much time in the day – and then there’s the time to write the report and to explain it to the parents.
This week, I was also part of a small group of teachers to present to novice French Immersion teachers at a workshop. My part of it was to explain my evaluation process. I was kind-of nervous, but it was fine in the end, a very informal gathering, actually. But it took a lot of energy and again, time, to prepare. I had a huge box of stuff to show them, and I’d prepared a lot of handouts. The baby teachers were thrilled – and there is more stuff that they want me to send them. So I’m going to have to photocopy that material and package it up for each of those teachers – which will require yet more time.
It’s almost report card time in the world of elementary school children, so that was last week’s project. As a specialist, my case load is larger than that of teacher who enrolls a class, so I have a lot of report card comments to write. And I try to email those comments to the classroom teachers well ahead of when they have to get their own report cards to our principal and vice-principal for checking over. I don’t write reams and reams about each child, but I do try to give a sense of the child’s progress in reading, and hopefully the classroom teacher sees the child the same way as I do. This is a time-consuming job, for sure.
I chair one of the committees at my school as well as take the notes and distribute them to the pertinent people afterward. We had two meetings this week, both after school. Typing up the notes alone will take at least an hour for each meeting – and this is a committee that regularly meets twice a month (three times this month – but that’s unusual), so this is an ongoing commitment of a sizeable amount of time. I shake my head sometimes that I actually volunteered to chair and take the notes for those meetings!
And in my personal life, I am trying oh-so-hard to lose weight. I am failing. I don’t think I am gaining weight, so that’s reassuring, but I am just not having any success (yet) at dropping that kilo or two that my doctor wanted me to lose. I think my portion control may be out of whack, but wouldn’t the fact that I do some form of exercise at least five days a week compensate for that? Well, apparently not. And all that exercise takes a fair amount of time, too. I guess I could save time by not eating, but that’s not very appealing, really.
Then yesterday I took my mom to the specialist appointment that was booked for her after her recent mini-stroke. The vascular specialist checked her over, examined her CT scans, quickly reread her file – and recommended that she have surgery to clear out that carotid artery that is 70% blocked by plaque. Mom immediately agreed. He said that the surgery would certainly be done prior to Christmas, very likely within two or three weeks, and that his receptionist would call Mom with a date as soon as he booked it at the hospital. I’m assuming that this doctor has regular operating times booked at that hospital, because he didn’t seem to think that there would be any problem getting a date and time. So I’m going to have to take at least one day off work to get Mom settled into the hospital – a day we won’t know for a while yet, and a hospital that is a 45-minute drive from my house when it’s not rush hours. Oh, and another day to bring her home, three or four days later. Of course I’ll do whatever I have to do – this is my mother we’re talking about here! But can I even miss any more work and not get completely snowed under?!?
Breathe, Pinkea, breathe, I keep telling myself. It’ll all work itself out. It always does.
I was at work till 5 pm today, a Friday, finishing up a few bits and pieces and getting organized for next week. On my way out of the building, I stopped to check my mailbox. And what do you think was in there? This:
Who says there’s no Chocolate Fairy?!?